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Monument to Thomas Bayes and Family, Middle Enclosure

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5237 / 51°31'25"N

Longitude: -0.0891 / 0°5'20"W

OS Eastings: 532665

OS Northings: 182267

OS Grid: TQ326822

Mapcode National: GBR S7.4Y

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.DYRS

Entry Name: Monument to Thomas Bayes and Family, Middle Enclosure

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396526

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508562

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Giles Cripplegate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/0/10224 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Bayes and family, M
iddle enclosure

GV II
Chest tomb to Joseph Bayes and family, late C18

LOCATION: 532664.9, 182266.3

MATERIALS: Portland stone with brick vault beneath

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a simple stone chest with a coped lid. It has fielded inscription panels to the sides and a moulded base, and rests upon a low brick and stone plinth.

HISTORY: The vault contains the bodies of various members of the Bayes and Cotton families, amongst whom the most famous is the mathematician and Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes (1701?-1761). Born in Hertfordshire, he studied at Edinburgh University and began his preaching career in that city; he later assisted at his father's meeting-house on Leather Lane in Holborn before being appointed minister to the Little Mount Sion meeting-house at Tunbridge Wells in 1731, which post he occupied until his retirement 20 years later. During his lifetime Bayes published nothing under his own name, although he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1742, perhaps on the basis of an influential defence of Newtonian mathematics published anonymously in 1734. His fame rests chiefly upon his mathematical 'Essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances', published posthumously in 1764; this adumbrates the highly influential 'Bayesian' approach to probability theory, as well as containing the famous 'Bayes' Theorem', still widely used in statistics and information technology.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
AF Edwards, entry on Thomas Bayes in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Bayes and Cotton family monument is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-preserved late-C18 chest tomb.
* It marks the burial place of Thomas Bayes, whose insights into probability theory continue to influence contemporary approaches to statistics and the philosophy of mathematics.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the middle enclosure.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

Description


635-1/0/10224 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Thomas Bayes and family, M
iddle enclosure

GV II
Chest tomb to Joseph Bayes and family, late C18

LOCATION: 532664.9, 182266.3

MATERIALS: Portland stone with brick vault beneath

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a simple stone chest with a coped lid. It has fielded inscription panels to the sides and a moulded base, and rests upon a low brick and stone plinth.

HISTORY: The vault contains the bodies of various members of the Bayes and Cotton families, amongst whom the most famous is the mathematician and Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes (1701?-1761). Born in Hertfordshire, he studied at Edinburgh University and began his preaching career in that city; he later assisted at his father's meeting-house on Leather Lane in Holborn before being appointed minister to the Little Mount Sion meeting-house at Tunbridge Wells in 1731, which post he occupied until his retirement 20 years later. During his lifetime Bayes published nothing under his own name, although he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1742, perhaps on the basis of an influential defence of Newtonian mathematics published anonymously in 1734. His fame rests chiefly upon his mathematical 'Essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances', published posthumously in 1764; this adumbrates the highly influential 'Bayesian' approach to probability theory, as well as containing the famous 'Bayes' Theorem', still widely used in statistics and information technology.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
AF Edwards, entry on Thomas Bayes in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Bayes and Cotton family monument is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-preserved late-C18 chest tomb.
* It marks the burial place of Thomas Bayes, whose insights into probability theory continue to influence contemporary approaches to statistics and the philosophy of mathematics.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the middle enclosure.

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